The Jet Set
I’ve heard a lot of New Year’s stories, but Scott Ginsberg beats them al I. The founder of Evergreen Media and former CEO of Chancellor Broadcasting loaded his son, daughter, and fiancée Heather Wellman into his Gulf Stream jet, left Addison for Halifax, then to Barcelona, to Athens, to Jerusalem, to Hong Kong, to Maui, to Newport Beach, and finally back to Addison. All told, they spent more than forty-six hours in the air together (and they’re still speaking to each other!) for a New Year’s Eve that lasted 21 days.
Now that Ginsberg is back on ground, he’s spending a lot of time in Irving. He recently bought StarGuide Digital Express from tel-evangelist Pat Robertson, relocated it from Reno to Las Colinas, and signed contracts with ABC and Clear Channel to provide the next-generation satellite distribution for syndicated programming. Rush. Dr. Laura, Paul Harvey, and the like will be delivered via the Las Colinas hub, which will also deliver TV-quality video over those new DSL lines- right to your PC through the Internet-with interactive e-tailing. Meanwhile, Ginsberg eats at Voltaire and visits The Porsche Store, (the largest Porsche dealership in the world)-both of which he owns-all the while maintaining that he has “retired.”
Perot Deals Abroad
Speaking of jetting off to foreign lands. Ross Perot, Jr. continues his crash course in the family business. He packed up his family in December and plans to spend the first half of the year at Perot Systems’ European headquarters in London, dropping back in Dallas whenever he needs to do things like sell the Mavericks. Perot says he isn’t planning to leave his Hillwood/Alliance Airport real estate business, but is rather getting a cram session in doing business abroad. The allure? Deals.
When he stopped by my office with an update on how it’s going, Perot said, “Europe is about two or three years behind the United States in technology and Internet plays.” That’s why you see Hicks, Muse and the other investment companies establishing beachheads in Europe.
But why London? “It’s an easy city for Americans to live in and for their children to go to schools in.” Perot said. “And London is prepared for foreigners. There’s a large transient population.” Meanwhile. Perot’s kids are not too keen on the dress code at British schools, where coats and ties are still in fashion.
Texas Instruments Turns It Up
If you are Texas Instruments caught in history’s tighest job market, evidently you have to grow your own. Demand for Tl’s DSP chips is soaring, so they’ve finally decided to staff up that building they put up on LBJ about three years ago. Only problem is nobody’s available to fill it. So TI has cut a deal with 27 area high schools: TI will pick up any qualified high school graduate’s tab for tuition and books for any Dallas County Community College. In return, right after the graduation party, you walk into an entry-level job paying about $36,000. Two years later, it’s up to around $60,000. So there must be a catch, right? Maybe they’ll just fund and hire the first 50 or so? Nope, TI will guarantee a job to anyone who does the program.
Speaking Of Turning It Up… Turner Turns It On
I had the pleasure of speaking to the National MultiHousing Council at The Breakers in Palm Beach last month. I served as a setup to mogul Ted Turner, who wowed the audience with reflections on his business success: the creation of TBS, CNN, et al. its sale to Time Warner, giving him millions of shares of the media giant; and its purchase by America Online. When Turner was asked what he would do if he were 20-years-old today and could start all over, he replied. “Hell, I don’t want to do it over, it’s too hard. Life is like a B movie: You don’t want to walk out in the middle, but you sure as hell don’t want to watch it again.”
The Jet Set